10 things a new homeowner must know
Congratulations on your new home
You’ve just started your journey. And you’re in it for the long run. Perhaps a few years or maybe a lifetime in your new home. Either way – it’s going to be a relatively long period of time. As time ticks on, the likelihood of things going wrong increases. So, what better way to face the odds than good old-fashioned planning.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of things, but it’s a list of the more common and more important items you would need to know as new homeowner.
10 things a new homeowner must know
- How to shut off your gas – Call the gas company immediately if you smell gas. As a precaution, you might want to or be asked by the company to shut off the gas. Best to know what “key” if any is required to shut the valve and where the main valve is located.
- How to shut off your water – Water is one of the leading causes of damage. Knowing where your water shutoff valve is and how to shut it off ahead of time could prevent thousands of dollars in additional damage should something go wrong. If you notice a leaking pipe its best to get it checked out by a licensed plumber before the problem escalates.
- How to shut off your electricity – Depending on your home the main ‘distribution board’ or ‘panel’ should have circuit breakers which identify by zone which switch is for which area of the house. More likely than not, there probably have been some changes that nobody has bothered to mark on the distribution board. Therefore – It’s wise to get a local electrician to inspect and test your circuits and panel before there is an emergency, and you are scrambling to find the right switch.
- How to change filters – Depending on your home, environment and HVAC system. The frequency of when you change filters and the type of filters vary. By knowing those factors, you can keep a supply of filters handy and change as applicable. This will improve air quality, reduce heating and cooling bills and prolong the life of your HVAC system, limiting the need for HVAC specialist call outs.
- How to maintain appliances – Your warranty is limited and will likely not cover an appliance which was not maintained properly or used incorrectly. Read the guides and keep them handy (if you lose them, a google search of the model number will help you locate a copy). Maintenance of home appliances is generally very limited and easy to do. It goes a long way to identify problem before they get bigger and keep appliances performing at their best.
- Home insurance – You might have been mandated to get insurance to buy your property. But this is not something you want to save a few $’s on. Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate for your property. Are you in a flood zone? Then you should probably add that coverage. Are you in an area with a higher chance of natural disasters? is your theft or burglary insurance limited to absurdly low amount?
- Home tax credits – Looking to install solar panels? Buy new appliances? New installation? Depending on where you live, these and more have tax credits attached to them. If you’re going to be doing work around the house, do your homework first and see if there’s an alternative with a tax credit.
- Save for the unexpected – Now that you’ve saved on those tax credits. Use that money as a savings fund for a ‘rainy day’. There’s always going to be something unexpected at home. Whether it’s your washer breaking down and needing replacement or a burst pipe that needs fixing. You’ll want to have the emergency funds.
- Trash laws – Maybe you’ve moved into a new city. Laws and dates differ in each city. So, get to know when is recycling day, big electronics day, glass and cans in which bin, etc.
- Permits – Planning for a small project? You might be surprised by the amount of permits you’ll need to have before doing any work. Local city website will provide some insight to what’s required and what permits you need to apply for.
Planning is key
The theme here is planning. As a new homeowner, you will likely spend at least a few years if not a lifetime in your new home. It really is an inevitability that something will go wrong and will need fixing. This guide will hopefully prepare you to think about and plan for some of the major or more common issues you might face.
As you get acquainted with your new home and begin this journey. Be sure to check out our monthly and annual home maintenance basics checklist. It’s all about the maintenance of your home and how to keep it in great shape.
If you need help around the home whether its plumbing, electrical, handyman services or other. You can always procure these services directly from our site at a time that suits your schedule, at a price that’s competitive and from professionals who are the very best at what they do.
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